I receive many queries on daily basis regarding applying for United States visa. I have mentioned the complete process of applying for a visa in a below mentioned post however based on all of your question I have mentioned few tips that you can take care of while applying for a visit visa. These are only my suggestions and tips based on my experience so you should not take it very seriously because it might not make any difference to the approval of your visa application.
Whatever time is assigned for your visa interview, make sure to reach 30 minutes in advance. You will have to take shuttle bus to the embassy to spare an hour for that. It doesn’t matter on what time your interview is performed so feel free to chose a time that suits you when you are asked to pick one.
Americans are relaxed for the dressing however you should be presentable. It will not make a difference and will not increase the chances of getting a visa but if a person is dressed well he is taken seriously. I have seen many people dressed like clowns, please don’t do that. You don’t have to wear red shirt and tight jeans, also please don’t put your sunglasses over your head and put it in your pocket, its not cool.
Trousers: Dress pants are better but jeans is also fine if its plain. Jeans should not have any designs and it should not be torn.
Shirt: Dress shirt is better but a plain t-shirt can be worn as well. T-shirt should be of dark color without any printings. A plain T-shirt should not be of red, yellow or very bright colors that catches the eye.
Suit: You can wear a suit if you like however if the weather is too hot like it is in summers then spare yourself and wear something that suits the weather.
Its better to communicate in English if you can but if you cannot its better to ask them for a Urdu speaker. They don’t have any problem talking in Urdu but its just that, they can think that if you cannot speak in English how can you survive in United States? Also, if you cannot understand a question in English, do not give wrong answer or remain silent because it will put suspicion in their mind. Ask them clearly that “Sorry, I don’t understand, can you please repeat” They won’t eat you up for asking the question again but for responding incorrectly without understanding a question your visa can be rejected so be careful.
What Documents you need:
You should always keep one simple rule in mind when preparing documents. You should take all those documents with you that shows your commitment to stay in Pakistan whether its property papers or your business papers. According to United States Embassy website, applicants are encouraged to bring documents they believe will demonstrate compelling reasons to depart the United States and an intention to abide by the terms of the visa.
- Take your original bank statements with you
- Take original documents of any property or home you have on your name
- Take a letter from your employer on company’s letter head stating that you work there on what rank at what salary and it would be better if they can mention that you are taking a leave from the company and will be joining back in a limited time.
- If you are a student, get a letter from your college or institute mentioning that you are attending their institute as a full time student and your institute’s holidays are coming up. Your application should be in the time frame of the holidays otherwise the embassy will suspect that you will not rejoin the institute and will not come back.
If you are visiting a family member:
Family members cannot sponsor you visa and you should not have high hopes that just because you have a family member in United States. Having a family member whether he is a citizen or not doesn’t mean you will get visa for sure specially if you are a young male. Parents tend to get visa easily however brothers/sisters and extended family’s young male’s visa get easily rejected.
All you need from your family member is their address and contact details that will go straight in the form and you will also mention that you will stay at your relatives home because this way you will not need heavy bank statement for accommodation expense.
If you are going on an official trip:
You will need a letter of invitation from the company who has invited you or if your company is sending you a letter on company’s letter head mentioning the reason of your visit. If you have an official reason to visit then chances are very strong that you will get a visa considering you have solid grounds.
If you are going for a medical emergency:
Any family emergency is seriously considered and all the processes are expedited. Follow the link below for complete details.
If you want to visit your fiance:
You can go to visit your fiance however you will need all his/her information to be mentioned on the form. You can visit her but you must come back after visiting her. Entering with the intention of marrying a US citizen is considered to be a visa fraud. US embassy would never grant you a visa if the visa officer will suspect that you are intending to do that. Even if you get married with tourist visa in USA you will still have to come back before the duration of your visa and after that your paper work can take place in Pakistan for green card.
If you are going for tourism:
You will not need anything extra for tourism visa. You would just need to know here you would be going exactly and where you would stay. If you want to visit multiple locations then you must know clearly their states, cities and names as it shows how serious you are in visiting United States. If you are married and going alone then do mention it to the visa officer so they know you have family in Pakistan. Usually they do not consider presence of your parents and siblings in your home country however still mention that you have all your family and parents in Pakistan and you cannot stay away from them and you will come back.
How much money you should show in your Bank Statement:
This is the most frequently asked question by everyone. Bank statement is for the reason to show that you can carry your own expense and would not be a burden on states. If you would be staying at your relatives place then you don’t need to show much funds however if you are staying at a hotel specially if you are planning to visit any attractions then you would need to show more money. There are no clear guidelines on how much money you need to show on your bank account however the more the better. I am giving suggestion here but they might not be accepted by the US embassy, they are just guidelines.
If staying at relative’s place: If you are staying at your relative’s place for around a month in United States then $1000 bank statement would be sufficient however if you want to spend 2 months then $2000 would be better, for around 6 months $3000 would be better.
If you are going for tourism: If you are going for tourism and would stay at a hotel then for a month $2000 or more would be a good amount because for visiting a single attraction is very expensive e.g. one day entry ticket to Disney World park is around $100 per person per day and the cheapest hotel on famous locations can cost you around $100 per night so you should calculate the money you would be needing beforehand, then memorize all those locations and have those funds available in your account.
If you are going on company’s trip: If your expenses are covered by your company then you should get a letter from them that your expenses are covered. If you have this letter from your company then you would need a very small statement just for day to day expense e.g. even $500 statement would be sufficient too. If your company is not covering your expense and you are going on your own business tour then you must show a heavier statement depending upon how many days you are intending to stay in United States. If you want to stay for one week in a hotel and attend some meetings or conferences then around $1000 would be fine however if its for around a month then $2000 or more. If you are running your own business then its is always perceived that you have money so show a fat statement to make your chances of getting the visa even stronger.
Other important tips:
- Make sure to mention your reasons for coming back to Pakistan e.g. your study, your job, your business, your property, your parents or family etc.
- Be confident, if you have a genuine case then you must not hesitate for anything otherwise they would think that you are suspicious.
- There is no harm in not knowing English, if you can’t speak clear English do not speak it, instead ask for the interpreter. I never understand why Pakistani feel so shame telling that they can’t communicate in English, American’s understand that and they arrange for the interpreter if you request so. Although if you are going on a tourism trip where you would be alone then they can object that how you would communicated when you reach United States.
- Make sure to arrange all your documents so you can present anything they ask for easily because I have seen many people looking in a huge pile of documents and sometimes throwing them on floor but still they don’t find the desired documents. Take your time and apologize for any delay to avoid any awkwardness and look into your documents, if you are confused you would mess up so be confident.